Why school opening should be moved to August
MANILA -- It is something that has been talked about for years especially when the rainy season kicks in -- the debate on whether or not the school year should start in June.
That talk may be put to rest by 2015 as top universities in Metro Manila plan to shift from the current June-to-March academic calendar to August-to-June.
It is all part of the ASEAN integration with schools aligning their academic calendars with the rest of the region.
The University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, and University of Santo Tomas are holding consultations on the matter.
Some stakeholders are in favor of the shift.
"Kailangan nating ihanda ang ating mga bata para sa bagong mundo... Kailangan nating masabayan. We have to also bear in mind that it's ultimately about improving the quality of the education," said Teresa Ricafort-Santos, assistant to the vice president for university and global relations of ADMU.
Eleazardo Kasilag, president of the Federation of Associations of Private Schools and Administrators (FAPSA), also pointed out: "We made already a survey long time ago na nauubusan tayo ng one full month na pasuspinde-suspinde."
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is also supporting plans for the new academic calendar.
It said the Philippines and Thailand are the only ASEAN members with school years starting in June.
The CHED is now studying how state universities can adapt to the new schedule. As for private universities, they can choose to make the switch or not.
"We should be preparing in moving towards that because medyo inevitable na yan. Para smooth ika nga yung movement ng enrollment of students across borders," CHED executive director Julito Vitriolo said.
The Department of Education (DepEd) is also considering to take up the new academic calendar since the law allows this as long as the required 200 school days are met.
However, some parents of elementary and high school students are not too keen on the idea.
Some college students also believe the new academic year will be inconvenient.
Instead of changing the academic calendar, the Teachers Dignity Coalition (TDC) said government should prioritize resolving the lack of classrooms, teachers, and textbooks for public schools.
"Yung buwan ng April at May napakainit at alam din nating yung mga schools natin ay di naman designed na lumaban sa ganitong weather," Emmalyn Policarpio of the TDC said.
Meanwhile, for Alliance of Concerned Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio, universities and other schools should consult students and parents before going ahead with the new academic calendar.
Tinio added that the issue can be taken up in Congress if opposition to it grows. -- From reports by Jing Castañeda and Zen Hernandez, ABS-CBN News